Inspirational housing scheme in Long Sutton wins prestigious Sustainable Housing Award

A �1.1MILLION housing project has come up trumps in the prestigious Sustainable Housing Awards 2010.

The scheme in Long Sutton, the first of its kind in England, impressed judges at the awards which celebrate the best in eco-technology, innovative design and inspirational projects for social landlords and their tenants.

Lincolnshire-based Waldbeck, a consulting engineering firm, was the winner in the Sustainable Social Housing Project of the Year category along with Lincolnshire Rural Housing Association, South Holland District Council, Search Architects, Quadrant surveyors and Robert Woodhead Ltd.

The winning project was the new Unity Gardens development of six single-storey two and three-bedroom homes bunded by earth.

The code for Sustainable Homes level five development is near self-sufficient generating surplus electricity, requiring almost no heating, harvesting more than half its water requirements from rainfall and supplying food for the residents from its allotments.

According to the Lincolnshire Rural Housing Association, the scheme goes ‘beyond zero carbon’ because the planting and insulation earth-bunded fabric absorbs carbon dioxide emissions.

The claim was backed up by the award judges who confirmed that Unity Gardens had good grounds to claim to be one of the UK’s first zero carbon social housing developments.

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They said: “The waste minimisation and responsible sourcing of materials really shone out and it had a very thorough approach to biodiversity.”

Waldbeck, which was appointed by the Lincolnshire Rural Housing Association, was responsible for the civil and structural engineering work.

Associate director Andrew Footit said: “We were delighted to be involved with the success of this challenging but rewarding scheme which was the first of its kind in England.

“The development was constructed on a greenfield site but identified important elements within the scope of our design that could be used on any housing scheme, be that brownfield, urban regeneration or otherwise.”